Friday, April 14, 2006

About Easter

This Easter we will walk across the street to the Methodist Church established in Friar's Point, MS, in 1834. Our Easter dinner will be a surprise later in the day on our way home. That's okay, we have lots of miles to cross.

Back home, Papa had to have a Lilly plant. Some families placed theirs in front of the church altar in memory of someone dear. Sneezes interjected the services.

Easter was sunrise youth services first, and then breakfast. The eleven o'clock service was a celebration in choir music. Lent was over. My Presbyterian background doesn't require giving anything up, but it keeps me in touch with the Passion. I didn't accomplish much giving up food, I did better working on giving up a bad habit. (Sometimes it took more than one Lent.)

The year I attended Easter services at the Assembly of God in Warner Robbins, GA, they put on a live performance of the Passion with a cast of dozens. The motion and commotion made further inroads in my belief bank, as does hearing the recorded voice of a deceased famous person.

Seeing the Passion Play at Spearfish, SD, made the whole business real and overwhelming; I forgot my childhood responsibility of keeping track of our family's dirty clothes. Several hundred miles later I confessed. Dad discovered his Masonic affiliation's worth when he went to buy us jackets. I don't remember he ever thanked me. Minnie liked my white imitation leather jacket better than hers. It had more colorful embroidery on it. She nagged me to look down knowing full well it would scare and sicken me. I liked mine too, and did not look down.

In Nashville, TN, the Easter service I attended was without piano or organ accompaniment. I was thankful they weren't relying on me to lead. Afterwards I learned it's their custom. Whatever works, there's no limiting God.

My daughters fondly remember new dresses, hats, white gloves, white straw purses, and paten-leather shoes for church, finding the marshmallow chicks under the front seat of the car and eating them, and hunting for the eggs they'd decorated.

Easter dinners involved the best dishes, linens, crystal, elaborate Ukrainian hand-decorated eggs displayed, and the ceramic rabbit pulling a cart filled with artificial grass and plastic eggs full of M&Ms - a lot of fuss.

We served Papa's homemade wine, ham, scalloped potatoes, asparagus or green beans, five-cup, Watergate or pretzel salad, deviled eggs, horn rolls, kolaches, and hot-cross buns. Dessert was angelfood cake with strawberries and whipped cream. One year a guest brought a cake in the shape of a lamb frosted white and covered with coconut. Yummy. And one more thing: all our guests, even those over eighty, hunted eggs. And a good time was had by all.

The times we did Easter brunch we used our clear purple dishes. They're springy. We bought service for eight at a fleamarket in Minnesota. Having left our boat motor at the lodge for fall fishing gave us just enough trunk space.

Our eyes were fed by the rich colors of the dishes, plump blueberries; cool green kiwi slices; juicy melon slivers; warm, buttery croissants, and Mexican eggs topped with hot Salsa. Dessert was a slice of Napoleon, the Lithuania tort made with custard and apricot between thin pastry layers.

We attend church and gather with family and friends to celebrate our Christian heritage. God's love and forgiveness for us, and Jesus Christ's cooperation with His plan for our benefit, is a knee bender. Thank you.

copyright 2006 Red Convertible Travel Series

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